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Indonesia Manhunt Underway After Mass Jailbreak

Security forces watch over Sialang Bungkuk Prison  in Pekanbaru, Indonesian, on May 5Security forces watch over Sialang Bungkuk Prison  in Pekanbaru, Indonesian, on May 5

Indonesian authorities are searching for scores of inmates who have escaped from an overcrowded prison on Sumatra Island.

Hundreds of police and soldiers were deployed near Sialang Bungkuk Prison in Pekanbaru, the capital of Riau Province, and were blockading roads to the capital and other provinces, said Justice and Human Rights Ministry official, Wayan Dusak, ABC News reported.

Dusak said the escape occurred when prisoners were let out of their cells to take part in Friday prayers and overwhelmed the six guards on duty. Local police spokesman, Colonel Guntur Aryo Tejo, estimated the number of prisoners who escaped to be around 200 to 250, of whom 130 had been recaptured.

“Some surrendered, while others were captured by police or residents,” Tejo said.

He added that some were reportedly beaten by residents who found them trying to steal their motorbikes. Local television showed dozens of men running from the prison and some being captured by police.

“The prison, which has a capacity of 361, was holding more than 1,870 people,” Tejo said.

In the capital Jakarta, national police spokesman, Brigadier General Rikwanto, said the jailbreak was sparked by overcrowding.

 

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